Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Filipino Family Experience

A family outing to Eden Park
We were one big happy family. Over the 3 weeks that it took to complete our diving courses we were invited to stay in our Divemaster's home. It was a very full and busy house, ten of us under one roof; Divemaster Frank, Mari Lou, Cozette and I, and the six children, Jakie, Jayare, Javina, Kei, Mako, and Lahia.

The Lovely Mari Lou

We didn't expect to stay more than a week, but Mari Lou, our most gracious hostess, had other plans for us. She took the liberty of being our personal guide and planned everyday with things to do and places to visit. When we were not diving, she made sure we were comfortable, stuffed full of delicious food, and had an itinerary as to not miss any of the sights around Davao. When Frank got ill it put a hold on our schedule for a few days, then Cozette and I took turns being sick.This all threw kinks into our dive plans and prolonged our stay, but we were assured that we were welcome, everyone was having a good time.

Somewhere over the rainbow...
The rare Mako fish!

The ten of us went to the beach or to a park on the weekends for "Family day". At night us "adults" would go out to restaurants, for a massage, or to the disco. All locations were preselected by Mari Lou. Frank and Mari Lou were very stubborn about letting us share the cost of our outings. We had to be very sneaky to slip our money into a restaurant bill or to pay for a taxi fare. Frequently we were told by a waiter that the bill was pre paid before we had ordered. Sneaky, sneaky, Mari Lou!

  When we had finally finished our diving and it was  time to leave, it was hard to say good bye to our new Filipino family. One of the children asked, "Will you stay? Or come back soon? Maybe in November?". Afraid not...  So a piece of our hearts remains in Davao City in southern Mindanao. Some day we may reunite, but our time together will be remembered forever.


Edgar Alan Zeta-Yap said...

Heartwearming post. Glad you experience true Filipino hospitality =)

Leiah said...

So cool! You guys look like you are having such a good time.

What a blast it must have been to experience the underwater world.

Are you off to Vietnam now?

Wade said...

We leave to Vietnam on the 9th of October.